How to Give an Interview

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Being interviewed can be a nerve wracking experience for some people. Whether it is a media or a job interview, the following techniques for giving a good interview will serve you well.

  • Be yourself. Being overly stiff in an interview can lead to a bad impression, especially if it is a TV interview. Relax and let your natural personality shine through. You can still be professional and use a little bit of humor.

  • List your talking points. If you know ahead of time what the interviewer is interested in, make sure you have a list of topics and key points that you want to make during your interview. If you get nervous or flustered, you can refer back to these points during the interview. If possible, get a list of topics in advance of the interview.

  • Practice speaking slowly. When people are nervous, they speak more quickly which can be hard to follow. Practice reading or giving a speech in front of a mirror and do it very, very slowly.

  • Research the interviewer and the medium. If you are being interviewed by a media professional, you should know everything that person as written or done recently, likewise you should know a great deal about their magazine, TV program or newspaper. If you are interviewing for a job, you should know as much as possible about the company and the interviewer.

  • Show up on time. If your interview is scheduled, make sure you are there on time or early. Smile and introduce yourself when you arrive.

  • Dress professionally. This is particularly important if your interview will be online or on television. Wear something modest and comfortable. You do not want to be see fidgeting with your clothing or exposing too much skin on TV.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't ask for the questions ahead of time because a journalist will not provide them for you.
  • It's OK to ask for a moment to think about your answer if the interview is not live.

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